Thursday 23rd august 2018
I woke up excited but more nervous. Marc had a work meeting so I was meeting him there. I could barely even eat a slice of toast as I was so nervous. I don’t remember being that nervous going for the first scan for Isabella. I got a few wee messages from friends to say they were excited for me. Amanda (my sister) came as she was watching Isabella. She gave me a cuddle as she could see how nervous I was. So with a full bladder I go. I arrived at the hospital and within seconds Marc is there too. Just my luck the sonoprahper is stuck in traffic so was running late. By this point I am bursting for the loo. She arrives about 15 minutes later and takes us straight though. We also have a medical student in with us. So the first thing the sonographer asks is if we want to Down’s syndrome test we say no straight away as we have already discussed this – what’s the point as it’s a risk of miscarriage and it will make no difference to us. So she then told me to lie up on the bed I am now getting very excited. She explains that she will have the screen turned away from us first and she may be quiet but that is because she will be concentrating. So she puts the gel on me and I grab Marc’s hand. As soon as she put the doppler on me she finds our beautiful baby and turns the screen to us. She points out its wee heart and it is flickering away. It’s moving about and kicking its feet and moving its wee hands. Our baby is right there and soon I have tears of joy. I think she even used the word perfect. Tears of joy soon swapped to tears of concern. She told us she was doing some measurement which I remember from Isabella’s scan. However she then said ‘I know you didn’t want the Down’s syndrome screening but…’ and with that I knew there was something wrong. She was calm and explained that there was extra fluid around our perfect baby that shouldn’t be. This is a sign of DS so although we opted out of the test there is now a medical reason we need it. She told us that she wanted a doctor to look over the scan and that we might need another scan which could be next week. With that tears of panic and worry started. She told us she would get us a wee room to wait in for the doctor rather than go back to the waiting room. So she went to see if there was a room available. While she was gone Marc and I were just shocked. Does our baby have DS? Could it be something else? When she came back to get us I asked if it was possible to be something other than DS and she said yes but the doctor will explain that. She checked to make sure the corridor was empty and took us to the room. We were left alone and all these thoughts were going through our head. What else could it be? Is DS going to be the best result of this? Our heads were all over the place. We had already planned the nice way to tell everyone and now I felt so obnoxious for just assuming that things would be ok. We took for granted that Isabella was healthy and perfect. Our 2nd baby isn’t ok. We both broke down. The wait for the doctor to give us more answers seemed for ever. We had seen our community midwife Lesley while we were waiting for the scan and she came into the room we were in and said I am so sorry and placed her arm on me. With that I thought sh!t his is worse than we think. When she was asking us how much we knew the doctor came in and Lesley left. The doctor was lovely so calming and described everything simple enough for us to understand. So bascially this extra fluid around our baby is called something (cystic hydr… something I now can’t remember) this means our baby could be born with a genetic disorder or a structural disorder. The genetic disorder could range from DS to something more severe which means our baby would be on life support for its short life. So Marc and I must decide which test to get. We could get the CV test next week which takes some of the placenta for testing but that has a higher risk of miscarriage 1 in 50. Or we could get a test in about 2 and a half weeks called an amniocentesis which takes some of the fluid. The risk of miscarriage for that is 1 in 100. Both test give the same results. There is nothing we can do when we get the results. So do we get the earlier test so we get answers quicker or wait till the second test as there is a lower chance of miscarriage. This is what we now have to decide. This is only if our baby makes it as just now it has a 50% of passing away as our perfect baby has to work its heart extra because of the fluid. I might not have any symptoms if this does happen. So we have choices to make. 1 – which test to get and then 2 – if we are going to continue with the pregnancy. Who are we to determine whether someone should live or not especially our own tiny baby. How are we going to possibly make this decision. I suppose first we need to see what the problem is. The best outcome is DS. Many people live with DS and go to mainstream schools. We could totally live with that, it will need extra support and more taking care of but we are parents we would do this and love our baby unconditionally. My head is fried. I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I have done today. I might go 10 minutes without crying but as soon as I think about it I start again. Also telling our family and friends that knew was hard. I also had to make the decision whether to phone my dad as he is on holiday. But they were expecting a photo of the scan and I didn’t want to send it pretending everything was ok. So I phoned him and it’s probably one of the hardest phone calls I have had with him. I could tell he was crying and I have only ever seen my dad cry when my mum passed away. Marc’s dad also took it hard. He had to go back to work a few hours later and he just broke down at work and had to go home. Marc and I have kinda got our head around it. We don’t want our family walking on egg shells around us or giving us the sympathy look. We will get through this. Yes it’s going to be tough but we are strong. We have another scan with the same doctor on Monday. This will tell us if the pregnancy is still developing and we will get to ask lots more questions we have now thought of which will help us make our choice on which test to get. For now we have to be strong and get on with things. We have both taken Friday (and my manager has given me the weekend) off work. So we are taking beautiful Isabella out. She has helped cheer us up and out a smile on our faces.